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Sales Contest Ideas for Channel Sales Partners

11 minutes read

Motivating better performance from channel partners is challenging. Reasons being:

  • You are dealing with salespeople you have no direct influence over

  • You are not the only organization that your partners are working with

But it’s crucial to keep your brand at the top of your channel partner’s mind in order to achieve great sales results.

You need to work closely with your channel partners to

  • Engage them with your brand

  • Create good brand recall

  • Train them according to your business standards

Wondering how to do all this? An innovative way is to run engaging sales contests.

Are you looking for a ready-made Sales Contest Template? Click here to design your own template for free, in just 3 clicks.

Here are some sales contest ideas for channel partners:

1. The New Product Launch Contest

Goal: To get your channel sales reps to promote the sales of your newly launched product

Duration: 3 quarters

How to run the contest? This contest can be run to cover 2 purposes. Drive exposure and learning for the new product and continue into the launch, through the 1st 2 quarters of sales.

Divide them up into teams. If you work with multiple channel partners, and you want to cover all of them, each channel partner can have a team. These teams compete with each other with scores and rankings tracked on a live leaderboard. Scores from both product learning and sales numbers can be added into the same leaderboard.

Prizes: With a contest that runs for 3 quarters, its always good to have multiple prizes at different points in time. This helps to keep the motivation high.

  • Monthly winner - Prize given out to the person who tops the leaderboard that month

  • Quarterly Winner - Prize given out to the person who tops the leaderboard that quarter

  • Best Team of the Month

  • Best Team of the Quarter

  • Product Champion

Also, present smaller prizes to all the participants in order to appreciate their participation and encourage it going forward.

Looking for creative award names? Read our article on Creative Employee Recognition Award Names.

Contest Theme: You can run the contest on any theme that will catch the audience’s attention. It could be on

  • March Madness,

  • on a sports theme like IPL or NFL or Soccer or Racing

  • Or, add it to any existing campaign that you are running with your Channel Partners

Tips for High Engagement: Before you start the contest, make sure you create excitement and awareness about your new product amongst your channel partners.

A partner summit is a great opportunity to do this. Use your partner conferences to debut your new products. Provide your partners with hand-on sessions with your latest innovations. Also, highlight what you intend to achieve with the new product.

This way you can align your partners with your company’s vision and goals. This goes a long way towards motivating them to help you deliver on your aspirations.

2. Quarterly Revenue Contest

Goal: To motivate the channel sales reps to meet your quarterly revenue target

Duration: One quarter

Winner: The rep who brings in the highest amount of revenue.

Prizes: Reward the winner with a cash reward or some goodies. Present smaller prizes to all the participants to appreciate and encourage their participation.

How to run the contest? Conduct this as a quarterly contest. Motivate the channel sales reps to sell your products actively through the quarter and hit the quarterly revenue target. Track the progress of the competition on a live leaderboard. By the end of the quarter, the rep who brings in the highest amount of revenue wins the contest. You can choose to add a learning track with this contest as well.

Tips for High Engagement: Before you begin the contest, ask the channel sales manager to nominate 20 sales reps to participate in the contest. This encourages involvement from the management team of your channel partners in running the contest. Which in turn guarantees high participation.

3. The Knowledge Wizards Contest

Goal: To build brand recall and fluent knowledge of your products. This contest can be conducted as part of a channel sales training program as well.

Frequency: Once every week

Winners: At the end of each month, calculate the cumulative score of each rep from the quizzes taken throughout the month. The winner will be the rep with the highest total score.

Prize: Give a cash bonus to the winner and an opportunity to take a trip to your factory or HQ.

How to run the contest? Conduct a short quiz once every week. Ask 5 questions every week. The questions can be on your product offerings, market, compliances & policies, competitors. Track the quiz scores on a live leaderboard. At the end of each month, declare the rep with the highest quiz score as the winner.

Tips for High Engagement: Announce that every month the winner of the contest will get to take a one-day trip of your HQ or factory. Since this trip itself is a reward, make sure that it is packed with fun and interesting activities. Treat the channel reps to a VIP experience.

The itinerary could involve:

  • Seeing how your products are made

  • Meeting the head of the company

  • Getting to see what new innovations are on the horizon

  • Having a special delicious lunch with the head of your sales department

  • And, getting a good souvenir by the end of the trip

This makes a fun workday for the channel sales reps and gives them a break from their routine work schedule. The memories they make will keep your brand at the forefront of their mind.

Learn how SmartWinnr can help you to conduct gamified quizzes.
Also Read our blog on Gamified Assessments.

4. Pitch Perfect

Goal: It’s crucial to ensure that all channel sales reps deliver a uniform product and brand message while selling.

Frequency: Once a month

Winners: The rep who delivers a perfect product and brand message.

Prize: You can choose to give any one of these prizes– Amazon gift cards, Entertainment Tickets, Weekend Getaway.

How to run the contest? Run a video coaching contest. Before conducting the contest, share an example video showing how to perfectly deliver your brand message while pitching your products.

Motivate the channel reps to pitch any one of your products and embed the brand messaging perfectly into the pitch. Whoever presents the best pitch wins the competition.

Tips for High Engagement: Circulate some of the best videos that have been received so far to facilitate peer to peer learning. Explain why the videos are good. That will encourage others to participate and your participation rates will skyrocket.

Use SmartWinnr’s Video Coaching tool to conduct effective video coaching competitions.

5.Upsell and Prosper

Goal: This contest aims at motivating the channel reps to upsell to the existing customers.

Duration: 8 weeks

Winners: The rep who makes a significant up sale wins the competition

Prize: Amazon gift card plus lunch with your company’s executive

How to run the contest? This contest will encourage your channel reps to try and upsell to the customers who regularly purchase your products. Add points to each of the products.

Start off with sharing some of the upsell opportunities that can be created. For example, if the customer bought a computer, he might also need headphones to run virtual calls. Keep sending such examples to your channel sales so that it stays at the top of their minds.

Create a live leaderboard where you keep track of the progress of the contest. By the end of the contest, who has the maximum number of points wins the competition.

Tips for High Engagement: Provide a channel for them to share upsell success stories. This will act as a source of peer to peer learning, as well as motivates others to upsell more.

6. Deal or no deal

Goal: To motivate the channel reps to close more deals

Duration: 1 month

Winner: The rep who closes the most number of deals by the end of the contest

Prize: Huge financial incentive (bonuses)

How to run the contest? Announce this contest ahead of time to your channel partners. Before the contest begins, send short study materials regularly to the reps to prepare them for the contest. The idea is to help them to get prepared.

Run the contest for 1 month and motivate the reps to close as many deals as they can. Track each rep’s progress on a live leaderboard. By the end of the contest, the rep who closes more deals than the rest wins a major financial incentive.

Tips for High Engagement: Create a ‘Ask a Question’ initiative. Any sales rep can ask a question to the product team or marketing team of your company. The question could be on product information, stock availability, competitor analysis. This channel will encourage them to clarify their questions and enable them to perform higher.

7. Seasonal Sales Olympics

Goal: If you are running exciting seasonal offers or discounts on your products, run this contest to promote them.

Duration: During your offer period.

Winner: The top 3 reps who sell more number of units of the products

Prize: Award different tiers of prizes to the 3 winners. Like: The first place holder gets– a gold medal + cash reward The second place holder gets– a silver medal + cash reward The third place holder gets– a bronze medal + cash reward.

How to run the contest? Communicate the offer details to your channel partners, in advance. Provide the channel sales reps with detailed information on the kind of offers you are running on various products.

Track each reps’ progress in the competition on a live leaderboard. Select the top 3 reps who sell the highest number of products than the rest as the winners.

Tips for High Engagement: Reward the contest winners at your annual partner summit event. Publicly appreciating the top performers goes a long way in encouraging high performance. This in turn results in your channel team focusing more on your brand and recommending it often to their customers.

8. Most Wanted

Goal: Within your industry, you must have a few large customers who you’d love to have as clients. This contest helps you with that goal.

Duration: Two Hours

Winner: All the reps who successfully onboard prospects from the “most-wanted” list.

Prize: Movie tickets for the weekend and dinner reservation at the best luxury dining restaurant

How to run the contest? Pick a Monday morning and schedule to run this contest for two hours. Assign a list of “most wanted” prospects to each one of the reps. Motivate them to contact the prospects in their list and try to enter them into the sales cycle. Reward all the reps who successfully enter at least one prospect from their list into the sales cycle.

Tips for High Engagement: Excitement will be very high because the contest lasts for a very short duration. Send communications well in advance to your channel sales teams, giving them enough time to do their ground work.

9. Retention Force

Goal: This contest aims at encouraging the channel reps to retain more customers

Duration: Quarterly or yearly contest

Winner: The rep who retains more customers than the rest

Prize: Let the winner decide what she wants as a prize

Contest Theme: Run this as a quarterly or yearly contest and encourage the sales reps to focus on retaining customers who are on a renewable contract. By the end of the contest, whoever retains more customers wins the competition.

Tips for High Engagement: Once you have a winner after the contest-- send a nice congratulations email to the winner and ask what she would like to receive as a reward.

But, limit the choice in order to ensure what they choose is feasible. You can create a list of prizes and have the winner pick one from that list. Like:

  • The latest tech gadgets

  • Huge financial incentive

  • A trip to Bali etc.

This shows them that you truly care about their preferences.

10. Commission Spike

Goal: To encourage the channel sales reps to bring in the largest sales in terms of order value

Duration: One month

Winners: The rep who wins the largest contract

Prize: Double the commission

How to run the contest? Run this contest for one month and start it at the beginning of the month. Encourage the channel reps to aim and shoot for the moon (win the biggest sale). Use a leaderboard to track the contest results. By the end of the contest, the rep who makes the largest transaction wins the competition.

Tips for High Engagement: The rep who brings in the largest sale gets double the commission. This sort of huge reward builds excitement around your brand. And, makes the channel sales focus more on your brand, as there’s potential to win good prizes at stake.

Once you finalize a contest, the next step is to communicate it effectively to your participants. Follow our sales contest communication template to announce the contest.
Looking for creative award names for your contest winners? Read our article on creative employee recognition awards.
Worried about the additional work that’s going to hit your desk for this contest? Learn how SmartWinnr can help you conduct these contests automatically, with no effort from you.

Published on Fri Jul 24 2020

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